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The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel Paperback – September 25, 2012
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From the Author
On Comic books, he was the co-creator and co-writer of Crimson for DC Comics (1999-2002); creator and writer of Alternation (Image Comics, 2003); and the only professional Mexican writer in a Superman title (DC Comics). He wrote the graphic novel Corre democracia, corre with the artist Micro and Un mexicano en cada hijo. Also, is the creator of the children's books Santa vs. los vampiros, and Niña Mar with the artist Tony Sandoval.
The author is living in Tehuacan, Puebla with a beautiful chef (his wife), a young anarquist (his daughter), and Brandy (his dog).
About the Author
F. G. Haghenbeck, a native of Mexico, is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novel Frida Kahlo’s Secret Book has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Tehuacán, Mexico.
Top Customer Reviews
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo refers to a little black book that had been found after the artist's death, one that contained a collection of recipes left behind by the painter for offerings on the Day of the Dead. And it's through these recipes that author Haghenbeck pays homage to Frida Kahlo in this fictional account of her life, up to her death and beyond.
This reader had first encountered the author in his earlier book, Bitter Drink, a tale of homicide during a major film production that took place in Mexico. In that novel, he gave us a bit of "la ñapa," which in Spanish means a little something extra, as each chapter began with a bar drink, along with the recipe and a brief background behind each drink. In this book, the author uses a similar device by tying various recipes to Frida's life and beyond.
Frida's little black book was called "The Hierba Santa Book," and when it was discovered, it was promptly considered a prized treasure. It was to be shown for the first time in a huge exhibition on the anniversary of Frida's birth, but the day the exposition was opened to the public, it was found that the notebook had vanished.
Through her recipes for pico de gallo, cheese loaves, pozole, caldo de pollo and more, we delve into Frida's tumultuous life. We find a woman who was often obsessive and explosive; she could be alternately optimistic and despondent. Frida was a woman who loved dancing, flirtation and seduction, yet she was often miserably lonely. She had a fierce and often dark sense of humor. She was tied closely to her lover, artist Diego Rivera, and she loved taking care of him, cooking for him and bathing him. She adored pets and children, and loathed pretentiousness. Her servants were family to her, and her students were treated as equals. But it was her art that was her only real solace.
Haghenbeck's story The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo doesn't offer the reader any new, thrilling exposés of the artist's life, but it is still quite an enjoyable read as the author weaves a tapestry of her relationships with artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Pablo Picasso. She becomes known for her culinary delights among the many intellectuals and patrons who visit the home that she shared with Rivera. She tells the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, "To live life you have to season it. If you don't suffer you don't learn. So I use a little bit of thyme, chile, clove and cinnamon to sweeten the taste of things."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great to read if you had nothing else to do.